Thursday, November 14, 2013

Soup #45 / Lentil Soup


I've been meaning to make this soup for a while and been putting it off for a few weeks. It was an easy go-to sort of soup that I could put together if I needed it.  But the thing is, we haven't been cooking much lately. I don't know if it was burn out from the summer soups, or just getting tired out, but it seems like we've been relying on one soup a week and the eating out. Pizza, sushi, burgers, too much! It's all good stuff, don't get me wrong, but I miss our whole cooking. So this soup started out as a "well, I guess if we have to..." and turned into something delicious that I'm so happy I made. It's simple, flavorful, and healthy! After just a spoonful I felt like my body started to remember what veggies are and remembered how much I love cooking at home. This is a big batch of hearty soup that will last you a few days if you're a small family of two like us, or will leave a big family with full tummies wishing there was more.  Oh, and we can thank my mama for the recipe inspiration!

What you will need: 

1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
5 carrots, peeled and chopped into rounds
6 ribs of celery (at least three from the leafy middle), chopped
1 cup of brown lentils
1/2 cup of barley
1 15 oz can of diced tomato
Bullion or salt and pepper

How to make it:

In a large soup pot on medium high heat, add in your chopped onion, garlic, carrots, and celery. Add about 1/2 cup of water. Cook the veggies, stirring often as if you were sauteing them (conversely, you could saute them instead by adding about 2 tbs of oil and stirring the veggies until they are cooked and slightly browned, but I was going to the lighter, oil free version). When there are yummy scents coming from the steam and the onions are clear-ish, go ahead and add in the lentils and the barley. Stir together and add in the diced tomatoes.  Now add about 8 cups of water and chicken or veggie bouillon to taste (I think i added about 2 tbs of chicken powder bullion.  You also can skip the bouillon and just add salt and pepper to taste if you prefer). Bring the pot to a boil and then reduce the heat to medium high and allow to simmer for about an hour, until your lentils are soft and your barley is fluffy. Serve in large bowls and enjoy!

How simple is that?!

The Verdict: Super success! When I was making it, I tossed in the tomatoes and immediately everything smelled like ketchup and I thought that I had ruined my soup. Fear not though, it all worked out in the end and the flavors married well. I loved adding the barley in there for a little but different texture and fill.

What we'd do differently:  I bought sbaby bella mushrooms to slice up and add in, but totally forgot about them. I'd like to add them in next time.